This week I attended a tasting of red Corton; a rare thing, in Denmark at least. The tasting included 10 Cortons from five producers, all top-flight amongst the panoply of Corton producers.
The purpose was to learn: learn about different parts of the Corton vineyards, learn about the different producers … or in short, LEARN.
It was a fine tasting with many delightful wines, some interesting insights, and some surprises wine-wise. But let’s move to the tasting.
The Danish importer of Maison Phillipe Pacalet, Domaine des Croix, Domaine Poisot, Domaine de Montille and Maison Camille Giroud had assembled a fine lineup that definitely would provide some pleasure but also, with a little bit of luck, increase our knowledge of the Corton hill and the producers.
The wines were served in sets . The first two Domaine des Croix (Les Grèves) were poured, and then the Vigne au Saint 2011 was served (presumably in an empty glass), leaving room to taste it against the Grèves 2011. Next round was Camille Giroud, then Poisot and Pacalet (and a world of difference) together, and finally two sets of Montille – 2016 and 2011 Clos du Roi. Finally in the end the special wine – the 2006 Montille Pouget – a vineyard now producing Corton-Charlemagne!.
- Domaine des Croix, Corton Les Grèves 2014
- Domaine des Croix, Corton Les Grèves 2011
- Domaine des Croix, Corton La Vigne-au-Saint 2011
- Maison Camille Giroud, Corton Clos-du-Roi 2014
- Maison Camille Giroud, Corton Clos-du-Roi 2011
- Domaine Poisot, Corton-Bressandes 2015
- Maison Philippe Pacalet, Corton-Bressandes 2016
- Domaine de Montille, Corton Clos-du-Roi 2011
- Domaine de Montille, Corton Clos-du-Roi 2016
- Domaine de Montille, Corton-Pouget 2006
An exciting collection of red Corton, and all participants left the tasting a bit richer in knowledge about this big hill. For myself, I left with a thirst to know more, to explore more Corton and Corton-Charlemagne.
The first set – Domaine des Croix
The first set presented was Domaine des Croix Corton Les Grèves from 2014 and 2011 – two semi-mature vintages starting to show a bit of development. The 2014 was clearly younger, while the 2011 was somewhat developed.
Domaine des Croix, Corton Les Grèves 2014
The 2014 Corton Les Grèves is quite open, but also more tightly knit than the 2011, showing a rather powerful mid-palate with some vinous elements – a big wine even in a cool and controlled vintage like 2014. The acidity is vivid and the fruit is pure and cool, offering room for a fine display of a earthy minerality, with slight vegetal hint in the finish (not problematic) indicating the coolness of the vintage.
(Drink From 2025) – Fine – (91 – 92p) – Tasted 20/06/2019
To the more mature and expressive 2011 …
Domaine des Croix, Corton Les Grèves 2011
The 2011 Corton Les Grèves is clearly more developed – offering a marked vinous note, openly knit and more or less showing it all. While it definitely will keep, the mid-palate fruit is slightly diluted: evident but lacking some definition and focus. It has a rustic note, and this will presumably increase as the wine ages further. Clearly the core mineral note is the same in this wine as in the 2014.
(Drink From 2019) – Very Good – (89 – 90p) – Tasted 20/06/2019
Now to one of the major points of the tasting: comparing the same producer and vintage, but different terroirs.
Domaine des Croix, Corton La Vigne-au-Saint 2011
The 2011 Corton La Vigne-au-Saint is a clear step up in intensity and quality from the Grèves. It’s a harmonious wine with lovely depth and intensity. It feels like the vineyard has deeper soil (guessing here), and the oak is a bit more prominent, offering fine support. This is a fine and vivid wine with delightful acidity, and it is showing very well. Not a big-vintage Corton – but this is a very interesting terroir. Impressive for the vintage.
(Drink From 2023) – Fine+ – (91 – 93p) – Tasted 20/06/2019
Moving on to the Maison Camille Giroud Corton Clos-du-Roi 2014 and 2011, looking initially at the difference between the two producers or, to be perfectly clear, two producers with the same winemaker – David Croix – working in two different places!
Domaine Camille Giroud, Corton Clos-du-Roi 2014
The 2014 Corton Clos-du-Roi is a step up in control and, in a sense, harmony and predictability – especially seen in context with Les Grèves. A more mineral wine with what appears to be a stronger – or at least more prominent – oak expression. This is quite a controlled wine – precise and very well executed offering delicate mineral notes beneath the intense fruity framework. It is an attractive wine – and one concludes, based on this sample, that the terroir is a bit more interesting than the Greves.
(Drink From 2028) – Fine – (91 – 92p) – Tasted 20/06/2019
Domaine Camille Giroud, Corton Clos-du-Roi 2011
The 2011 Cortin Clos-du-Roi is clearly more mature than the 2014, yet feels younger and more vivid than the 2011 Les Greves from Domaine des Croix; a larger-scale wine from presumably a bigger terroir. The oak is more evident in this wine, giving a fine, predictable backbone of easy drinkability. This drinks very well and will keep.
(Drink From 2024) – Very Good+ – (90 – 91p) – Tasted 20/06/2019
The mixed set of differences
The next set is one of differences: Domaine Poisot Corton-Bressandes 2015 and Maison Philippe Pacalet Corton-Bressandes 2016. These are two very different producers and very different vintages, albeit working with the same vineyard.
Domaine Poisot, Corton-Bressandes 2015
The 2015 Corton-Bressandes is an intense, ripe and almost silky wine, well supported by the oak used in this cuvée. A big, harmonious wine, it shows the soft and ripe side of the Corton hill. It is slightly opulent and very generous, yet in its way well balanced. This is both an enjoyable and very drinkable wine – and will become more so as its fruit matures and modulates. In the end, comparing this to other producers does somehow display its momentary shortcomings. Perhaps it just needs time to shed some of the massive 2015 fruit. A bit solar for me.
(Drink From 2028) – Fine+ – (91 – 92p) – Tasted 20/06/2019
And now for something completely different …
Maison Philippe Pacalet, Corton-Bressandes 2016
Phillip Pacalet is new on the hill, and in 2016 he produced an intense, deep and relatively concentrated wine: the first Corton-Bressandes from this estate. Perhaps affected by the frost and/or mildew, it certainly has the stuffing of a low-yield wine. It’s intense with an almost creamy texture, offering plenty of mineral expression – being after all a Pacalet wine. A serious wine in the making.
(Drink From 2028) – Fine++ – (92 – 94p) – Tasted 20/06/2019
Clearly the Pacalet is both a bigger and a better wine. I like the Poisot, although bigger is not necessarily what I’m looking for – see the de Montille wines below.
The de Montille set
Etienne de Montille seems to have a special talent for matching his estate’s style and the Corton vineyards – these wines are delightful.
Domaine de Montille, Corton Clos-du-Roi 2016
Back to Clos-du-Roi and to a more controlled and refined wine. Is it the vineyard? Or the de Montille style? Or a bit of both? It’s an intense and delicate young wine – fine stuffing, but with a refined representation of the fruit. This is elegant and has serious potential. It’s lightfooted, yet with plenty of mid-palate fruit gracing your palate in an elegant and intense way. This is a fine Corton; very fine indeed.
(Drink From 2028) – Very Fine+ – (93 – 95p) – Tasted 20/06/2019
To the 2011 Clos-du-Roi
Domaine de Montille, Corton Clos-du-Roi 2011
The 2011 vintage as a whole is starting to show well, and so is the 2011 Clos-du-Roi from de Montille. Clearly this is a lesser and smaller wine when compared with the relatively intense 2016. The 2011 is airy and refined – the fruit has resolved beautifully and is in a maturing stage – but it needs five more years at least to expand into the sweeter notes on the palate. It’s a fine Corton, but perhaps lacking a bit of intensity compared to the top vintages – apparent in the slightly watery feel on the mid-palate. Nevertheless a gorgeous wine showing the potential of Corton.
(Drink From 2028) – Fine+ – (92 – 93p) – Tasted 20/06/2019
The almost mature Corton … complexity and finesse
A older and more mature Corton – Pougets 2006 – is a true delight that I tasted blind some years ago. Already back then it was refined and delicate, to an extent that most guesses were centred on the big Côte de Nuits vineyards. It’s that elegant.
Domaine de Montille, Corton Pougets 2006
The 2006 Corton Pougets from de Montille is a truly delightful wine entering its more mature stage. The nose is expansive, with sous-bois notes displayed over red fruit – airy and vivacious. This is how Corton should be. On the palate, lovely intensity – long, airy and maturing. Not a top vintage, and not a massively big Corton, but a wine with magnificent finesse and refinement. I love this wine, but sadly the vines have been over-grafted to chardonnay, so no more de Montille red Corton Pougets.
(Drink From 2028) – Very Fine – (93 – 94p) – Tasted 20/06/2019
What we learned .. or did we?
The sample here is limited, hence the conclusions are uncertain. That being said, I found some differences among the terroirs are quite prominent – Clos-du-Roi seems to be a very refined terroir, while Bressandes is more rich and opulent.
The Corton La Vigne-au-Saint is also a refined and focused terroir, although I have not tasted many wines from this terroir. Finally, I do love Corton Pouget red.
Thanks to Vinrosen
Thanks a lot to Vinrosen and the team – Soren, Anne and Mie for a fine tasting.